Vanguard is an achievement in Halo 3 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It is unlocked by beating the par score on the level The Covenant. The achievement is worth 10 Gamerpoints. It is represented by a blue circle with a coiling dragon, the symbol for a canceled Bungie product, Phoenix, in the original game and a screenshot of Last Resort in the collection.
The par score for The Covenant is 50,000 points in Halo 3 and 25,000 points in The Master Chief Collection; the difference is due to the fact that the two games feature different campaign scoring formulae. Though the achievement can theoretically be unlocked on any difficulty, more points are awarded in campaign scoring when playing on higher difficulties.
In the original game, players must achieve the par score individually, even when playing cooperatively; in The Master Chief Collection cooperative players share a single score, potentially making the achievement much easier.
- On Normal, activate the Tough Luck, Famine and Thunderstorm skulls. Also, try to complete the mission in as little time as you can, as it is possible to gain a point multiplier at the end of the mission based on how much time you take to complete it.
- Alternatively, if you have all the skulls you might want to try it on Heroic, with every skull but Blind, Iron, Fog, and Black Eye. Only try this if you're an experienced Halo player.
- In The Master Chief Collection players can earn significant points by destroying unoccupied Covenant vehicles as the game does not differentiate between piloted and empty vehicles; Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST are the only games in the collection with this campaign scoring quirk.
- This could also be an indirect allusion and reference to another designation for the Arbiter, entitled by the Prophets, "Vanguards of the Great Journey"; easily the most important aspect of this level in terms of storytelling is the Prophet of Truth's death at the Arbiter's hands.
- In the Halo 3 Ultimate Guide Magazine, it is erroneously stated that the achievement requires 15,000 points, rather than 50,000 points.
- A vanguard is the lead group in a battle unit, battalion or strike force. The term is from the Medieval times, when it referred to the lead advancing unit, or "guard", in one's military. It is a small and elite unit, meant to strike fear into enemies, and to destroy everything in its path, leaving nothing unscathed. To be in the Vanguard was the highest honor, as it required extreme bravery and skill.